I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant”’” (Isaiah 37:35 NET Bible).
John Goldingay in The Theology of the Book of Isaiah takes on the problem of the Servant Songs scattered through Isaiah 40-55. Who is the Servant? The verse above from the previous collage provides one clue. David and his dynasty are supposed take the role of servant. But the situation in the 540s BCE refutes that expectation.
The introduction of Cyrus, king of Persia, as shepherd (Isaiah 44:28) means to shock Israel. David, the shepherd king of Israel, gives way to a foreign king as savior. In 45:1 Cyrus is God’s anointed one, another Davidic title.
By an appeal to the offensiveness of a pagan, foreign king taking this role, some of the Servant Songs in Isaiah call upon Israel to take on the role of true servant of God. Other…
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